Shuffling fish

It seems that a few of the fish have had a recent burst of growth and space for them all is becoming a bit of a problem. Not a huge problem yet, but significant enough for me to do something about it before it gets out of hand.
So far I’ve removed a gold severum and two firemouths from the main tank, leaving two male convicts (one of which is to be removed), a gold severum, oscar, firemouth, kribensis and the crazy ruby shark. I’m looking for a larger tank and am thinking of swapping everything around and having it all set up differently.

The plan is to eventually end up with enough space for a green terror in a main tank. I haven’t decided exactly which, if any, tank mates to include. I’m thinking either a Jack Dempsey or oscar. Maybe a male convict or a school of tiger barbs. I’ll let you know when I know.
I will also be keeping a Malawi tank, for now at least, but knowing my attraction to the giant cichlids I don’t know how long it’ll be before I change my mind again.
Of course I will be keeping the severum and oscar if possible, though I’ve heard that fully grown oscars don’t play well with others, so again I’ll just have to see how that goes. If it doesn’t work out with the oscar & severum then I’ll split them up and put the firemouth back with the severum, or something. Ha, I have no idea what I’m doing really, do I?

Oscar

As promised, here’s a better photo of the Oscar.

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Oscar & Ruby

It’s still not a great photo, but they’ll get better as he grows. Weird huh?

He (actual gender unknown) doesn’t look as though he’s going to have a huge amount of colour, but I’m not sure if that changes as they age?  If anyone knows, I’d welcome the comments.

Oh and yes, that’s a Ruby shark in there. He holds his own with all the Cichlids he’s lived with so far, including the Severum. I don’t know how long that will be the case as the Oscar & Severum grow. Again, comments/advice welcome.

Fast forward

I’m going to bring everything up to date in this post & hopefully not miss anything out.

Well the plants did quite well for a while, particularly the elodea & cabomba. Unfortunately they were irresistible to many of the fish & quickly became tatty & nasty looking.  I stuck with it a while & tried all kinds of plant foods, but it was a losing battle. I just don’t seem to be able to keep aquatic plants alive. The only way I could keep nice plants was if I kept buying new ones to feed the fish, but this wasn’t great for a couple of reasons (one of them being that I was getting all kinds of snails & bugs hatching in my tank), so I went back to fake plants.

It was around this time that I bought a Fishbox. The idea there was that I fancied getting some shrimps & didn’t want a tank that was too big.
I set the fishbox up and let it cycle & added 13 cherry shrimp and 2 Singapore wood shrimp/bamboo shrimp. About a month or two later I turned the heat up a fraction & the cherry shrimp started breeding. I never tried to count them, or even guess the amount, but before long I had loads of them.
I wondered if it was going to get out of control, so I came up with this plan. I’d try to create a semi, sort of, natural-ish environment by adding a few small fish and a few elodea & cabomba. The small fish (neons & harlequin rasboras), while calm & non-aggressive, would still eat some of the baby shrimp. The elodea & cabomba (along with wood cave & coconut shell) would help some of the baby shrimp to hide and survive. Also, the small fish shouldn’t eat the plants, so it will all run smoothly and there will be balance and the fish will eat naturally and all will be well. You know it didn’t go that smoothly, right? I still have the fishbox and small fish, I’m back to fake plants in there too, but I still have loads of shrimps, so it is sort of working.. unfortunately I have an infestation of snails. An infestation I tell you. They hide all day & you wouldn’t think there were any snails in there, but wait until night… that’s when they come out and strategically place themselves all over the front glass so in the morning I can’t see in the tank. I’m thinking I have 2 options. Either try to get rid of the snails (or keep them down to an acceptable level), or totally clean the tank out. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Along the way I gradually gave away & sold most of the community fish from the Rio with the intention of setting up a cichlid tank. That is still the situation with that tank. Firemouths, Kribensis, platinum angel (waiting to go), gold severum & a couple of blue rams. I know they will outgrow that tank & will have to go, but I’m enjoying them until that time.
I also got hold of another long 90 that I needed to hold 9 baby convict cichlids. Again, I know they can’t all live in there, but they came as a job lot and I wanted to pick a pair. I’ll pass the rest on. It’s strange that they are not commonly stocked (in this area at least) considering how easy they are to breed.

The most recent addition is  square 90, in which I hope to try to breed either kribensis or firemouth. I’ve been reading that firemouth & convict cichlids will crossbreed. I haven’t read enough about whether that’s a good thing or not, but it’s something I’m interested in.

So that’s it. To date:

Rio – Mainly cichlids & cleanup. Sand, Fake plants, Mopani wood & a few moss balls.

Long 90 – baby convict cichlids. Sand, Fake plants, plant pot, jug ornament, Mopani wood, coconut shell & a few moss balls.

Square 90 – Pair of firemouth cichlids. Medium/fine gravel, Fake plants, plant pot, Easter island head ornament.

Fishbox – Neon tetra, harlequin rasbora, flying fox, cherry shrimp, wood shrimp, 50 million snails (Including a couple of assassins that I forgot to mention. They didn’t do much… I need an army of them), sand, fake plants, wood & a few moss balls.

Was it obvious that I wanted to get that out of the way? 🙂

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Nikon 111_50pc

Reemergence from fishlessness

The first tank I got hold of was the Rio. It came ready to go, with a mature external Eheim pro 2 filter, heater, pumps & such, not to mention a big bag full of various plastic plants & tank decorations.
It didn’t need much in the way of cycling as the filter was full of the good stuff, but I let it run for a couple of weeks with nothing in but a few snails.

Juwel Rio
Juwel Rio

Once the water all checked out OK I started to add fish, as you do. I can’t remember what order I bought what, but I ended up with the usual, peaceful community tank. Swordtails, Cardinals, Ruby shark, Bala sharks, Clown loach, Corys, Gouramis & such.
As you can see I started off with all fake plants, mainly because they came with the tank. I did consider starting off with real plants, but I was too keen to get fish.
So, the fish all settled & everything is nice, running smoothly & I’m happy… for a while.
It’s not long though before I want more to do than just feed them & do water changes, so I decide to get real plants. Real plants are nicer, they’re real & beneficial & more natural… So I planted.

Rio2_50pc

As soon as I’d finished planting I wasn’t happy with it. It looks too organised. Apparently they should spread themselves about, so maybe it’ll be OK.

(As always, click images for full size)